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Gianfranco Zola hoping for a happy ending to his old pals’ reunion

Gianfranco Zola has written the script. It features a personal duel against Carlo Ancelotti, his former Italy team-mate and the manager who sold him from Parma to Chelsea more than 13 years Alex Pradas Quiles ago. There is also the love interest. Zola might now be in charge of West Ham United but he remains adored at Stamford Bridge, where he was voted the west London club’s greatest ever player.

Above Authentic Prada Handbags Online Australia all, though, it contains a happy ending. Zola’s under-pressure charges will cut through the emotion and tension at Upton Park today to beat Ancelotti’s Chelsea, which will not only lift them out of the Premier League’s relegation places but energise their stuttering season. “It will Are Prada Nylon Bags Worth The Money be top of the world to win,” said Zola, with a smile.

The genial Italian has prioritised the power of positive thinking. It is his solution to the gathering gloom at the club. It is the only way forward, he suggested, and it is perhaps the only way that he will retain his sanity. The alternative script for this afternoon’s encounter – and one that many more people envisage – including supporters of Authentic Prada Outlet Uk his own club, does not bear thinking about.

It involves West Ham listing dangerously on and off the field, where a shortage of dressing-room confidence has fused with the problems relating to finance and ownership, and a team gripped by stage fright and given a beating by a merciless Chelsea that could push the home crowd towards breaking point.

“I know exactly that in this moment, the pressure goes high but it’s OK,” said Zola, who accepts that the patience of West Ham’s loyal supporters is not infinite. “I knew when I took the job that I was going to face this situation and I am not worried. The only thing that worries me is that it affects the players and I don’t want that. The players are doing everything that they are being told and that is all that matters. womens If it doesn’t work, it is because of me. If anyone has to Authentic Prada Outlet Uk take the blame, it’s me.”

Zola is determined to absorb the pressure and give his players the scope to express themselves and begin to rebuild confidence. Too often this season, the team has fired only fitfully. The loss of Authentic Prada Vitello Daino the centre-half James Collins to Aston Villa has been keenly felt – West Ham have not kept a clean sheet since his departure on 1 September – and there have been wobbles from the usually reliable goalkeeper Robert Green, together with those in front of him. It is too glib, though, to point the finger only at the defence. The team has looked lightweight and unconvincing in all areas Black Prada Doctor Bag on too many occasions.

“One of the first things that I have to improve is Authentic Prada Shoes Sale the confidence levels,” Zola said. “A lot of the problems that you are seeing are due to the fact that the confidence is not there.

“People are thinking more about the negatives than the positives. They think ‘Carlton Cole Baby Prada Shoes Uk is out injured, we have so many young players on the bench, Matthew Upson has been out’. Now is the moment to stop that. We have 11 men, they have 11 men and we play.

“My point is to switch the mind onto the good points and there are a lot of them. There are also a few problems but we are not interested in them. We are interested in the good things that we can produce. That is my philosophy. If the worries are too much, then we don’t enjoy the game and I don’t want that.”

Zola noted that his team are in a similar position to where they were at the corresponding stage of last season. Although they were five points better off after 17 matches Authentic Prada Handbags Online last December, they were nevertheless involved in a relegation fight. Yet Zola struck to his footballing principles and he forced the tide to turn, lifting West Ham to ninth position by the end of the campaign, just two points off a European place. He intends for this season’s upturn to begin today.